love & leather

 I had this really amazing find yesterday. And when I say amazing I mean in every sense of the word – what I found, the fact that I even found it, where and for how much. It dates back even further than yesterday though, way further.

Last year, I decided took part in a charity drive my good friend, Lameez, was organising, where we handed out clothes, soup and fruit in aq poor community. Naturally we had all rummaged through our closets and those of relatives looking to see what we could find for the distribution. Lameez’s mom found a knitted chocolate brown and blue genuine leather top, a beautiful (slightly damaged) garment which she felt should be distributed to someone who would look after it, as opposed to the poor, because it belonged to her when she was younger. Back then, she had a woman custom-make it for her. And the lucky recipient was…. Rae. Not me. Lameez’s mom felt Rae, a budding fashion designer, would take the best care of it, and fix it up as there were many loose threads. I have never in my life been more jealous.

At least once a day, literally everyday thereafter, I would honestly think about that top. It bothered me even more because it was custom-made so my chances of getting something remotely similar were slim to none. My mom makes leather bags and used to be a pro jersey-knitter, so at one stage I seriously considered stringing together pieces of leather and begging mommy-dearest to recreate one for me. I gave up after cutting a few strips. It just took too long and too much effort. I could understand why the garment was made back in the day because then people invested so much time and craftmanship into the clothing they made. I had accepted this garment was something I would just dream about for a very long time. Maybe Rae would let me stroke it.

Then yesterday. I set about on my weekly mission for Thrift, sourcing garments. I heard of a new thrift store where I was keen to check out. I was impressed at the ridiculously low prices, but the things they sold were really nothing special. Usually you’ll find a solid 5 items that will make you very happy but there was nothing here. And then I scratched in the box containing jumpers each costing about R3 each.

And there it was. The exact top I have been obsessing about for months, in mint condition, red and black in colour but otherwise identical in design to the one Rae was given. Almost just as shocking – the R5 price tag gently slung from it.

I wore it with my R5 shorts this evening when the man-friend and I went to grab some gelato. I didn’t even bother taking full photographs of my outfit because this top just deserves its own post. I am going to be in awe of its beauty and how it came into my life, for a long, long time.

My Thrift customers – no, it will not be for sale. Ever. But I am shooting some beautiful things for you all tomorrow. Be excited :)